Category Archives: Reading Through The Stacks

Do You Read Naked?

On Monday, I finished Where’d You Go Bernadette, which was my 43rd book of the year and my 701st listed  on Goodreads.  And it really needs a question mark at the end.  Because questions without question marks annoy me.

As well as a grammatically incorrect title, it was the first hardcover book I’ve read in a while.  I read it naked.  Smooth and unadorned.  The book, not me.  I find book jackets flappy and useless, and lose them quickly.  On purpose.

Nobody trusts me with book jackets.  Which is why I prefer paperbacks.  Less fuss.

Anyway, I was online a few weeks ago, looking to order the book group book.  Which I already own, but can’t find.  I’ve moved seven times since I read Ask the Dust for the first time.  It isn’t in a our sixty-four book shelves/two cases in the living room.  It isn’t in the hallway with my old textbooks.  So, I bought it.  I might have bought Bernadette, too.  Because online shopping isn’t really shopping.

Lately, I read in bed at night.  Sometimes, I get to the middle of a book and read right to the end.  If not, I must have a spent train ticket to use as a bookmark.  I used to have real bookmarks, but then I got beyond the age of ten.  And I don’t have kids yet, so I won’t be seeing real bookmarks until they make me ones for Christmas.  And so, while I am in this limbo between ten and motherhood, I’m using train tickets.  I hope books exist when my kids do, I hope their parents aren’t the last people on earth to buy real books.  I hope books don’t shrink to band-aids on people’s foreheads like the remote-control thing called Samantha 2 in Bernadette.

While reading Bernadette, I did not read the last page first, as I sometimes do.  One of my old (and favourite) English teachers said reading the last page first puts the whole book in context and changes the way you read it.  Sometimes I start with the last page and sometimes I don’t.  It depends on what kind of experience/relationship I want to have with the book.

What are some of your reading habits?

Do you read naked?

Do  you read the last page first?

As for me, I’m now reading The Interrogative Mood.  Which more than satisfies my need for question marks.

Have you read it?

Naked and beautiful. See?

Reading Through The Stacks: An Open Apology To My Book Group

Since September has arrived, I figured I’d do another reading update.  I’ve finished seven books since the last round-up post:

Before I Go To Sleep -  I did end up liking this a lot.  I thought about it for awhile after the last page, which I suppose is a good sign.  I’ve had more vivid dreams since I read it, which is an even better sign.  I stayed up late to finish it, which is maybe the best sign.

Dandelion Wine – This was a timely read, for my book group.  I read it an afternoon, which was really three hours.  In those three hours, I went from:  ‘Dude is mowing the lawn AGAIN’ to ‘This is the best book EVAR.’  Each statement was shouted from the bedroom to the office where Sarge was playing a super-geeky board game, online.  Probably against the computer.  Or a 12 year-old genius in Korea.

Man In The Dark – This is my tenth Paul Auster book.  I LOVE his stuff.  Timbuktu, not so much, but still.  I read Man In The Dark in the space between 5 and 8 am, when I couldn’t sleep.  This was perhaps the perfect circumstance to enjoy this book.  And I did.  It’s right up there with Oracle Night as one of my favourites.

The Hand That First Held Mine – I found this claustrophobic and kinda creepy.  Which is saying a lot.  Since I read After You’d Gone on an island, in the rain.

The Tiger’s Wife – This was another book group book.  My choice.  I don’t know why, since I don’t like magical realism or books with not a lot of dialog.  I’m also more a people person, and not so much an animal person.  I chose this because I felt I should read it.  And I wanted to like it more than I did.  PS.  I’m sorry book group people.  PPS.  I should have chosen The Family Fang, which I still have yet to read.

Digging To America – Since I seem to be reading a lot of debut novels, I wantedto get back to my favourite authors.  I loved Saint Maybe and Dinner at The Homesick Restaurant.  And the page in this book where it describes the feeling of living in two places, and therefore not being at home anywhere.  I’d share the exact quote,  but the book is back at the library.  Being able to find the exact quote without putting your shoes on should be Point 1 for owning books.

A Discovery of Witches – This book was an effin’ beast.  (That word truncated for maximum effect.)  I gave it 4 stars, but I read all of the aforementioned books in the middle  of it.  Glad to have read it, more so to have finished it.  And of course I’m waiting for the sequel to become available at the library.

What are you reading at the moment?

If you are part of a book group, what’s your next book?

Reading Through The Stacks: Loyalty To Books

I’ve read 31 books this year. And started countless others.

Recent complete reads have been:

The Magicians -

To me, this is Harry Potter on speed mixed with The Never-Ending Story. Maybe that’s just me. But it did end. And now I have to read the sequel. Damn.

13 Little Blue Envelopes -

Because I too traipsed around Europe as a young person. And I have an Aunt who passed away, who kind of guides me through life. There aren’t any letters for me, though. Poems, but no letters.

I even met a weirdo. These days, I much prefer the geek I’m getting married to.

The Night Circus -

Loved this one. Ten stars. I would say not my usual kind of book. But I’ve forgotten what my usual is. I suspect I read this at just the right time to be swept away.

Seven Up-

Yes, I’m still reading this series. No, I haven’t lost count. or heart. Yet.

Naked -

I read this because I was looking for another one of his, and I found this one. Read it cover to cover, which may not be the best way to read essays. I’ve thrown it at Sarge, but not before highlighting ones he should read.

Blood, Bones and Butter-

Continuing on my memoir kick, I’d been waiting AGES to read this book. A bit of armchair travel here too, since Sarge and I have decided not to go out of the country until the honeymoon.

Cinder-

This is another one that can be filed under ‘escapist’. Kept imaging Wall-E. I figure I read grown up books when I was a young adult, so I can read some YA now.

And these are some of the books that are in various stages of unread around the house:

Before I Go To Sleep -

I think I’m at the point just before it gets predictable. Having said that, I was reading this yesterday as Sarge came home from work,  he put the key in the door and I jumped so high my butt cleared my seat. Now, I know all about my heightened fright-reflex, but that was a little excessive.

A Discovery of Witches -

Loving this.

How I Became A Famous Novelist-

I consider this one research.

 

How many books are you reading now?

What keeps you reading to the end?

What makes you want to throw a book across a room?

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Some of these are saying: Don’t forget to finish us, Lorna. We LOVE you!

Reading Through The Stacks: The Reading Room

Since the office/writing room/reading room has been reclaimed from the cat, my reading speed has improved.  I can read 376 words per minute.  Staples says so. What’s your reading speed?

Recent reads have been:

The Art of Fielding – I was right there with this, until the end.    That seems to be my go-to one-liner recently.  It just felt too neat.  More verbose ‘review’ may be coming soon!

Full Dark House – This one I got from a Goodreads group giveaway.  To me, the ending improved my reading experience.  I may send this one to my Mom.  The last book I sent her was Best In Show: Knit Your Own Dog.  Because it combines two of her favourite things.

The Invisible Circus – This one made me weep.  The last one to do that was The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

You and I -  There exists somewhere a recording of my Grandfather and his brother driving around Ohio putting the world to rights.  This book reminded me of that.  Awesome.

Current reads:

The Night Circus

Franny and Zooey

The Devotion of Suspect X

And on deck, we have:

 

A no longer empty shelf!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you reading?

What should I be reading?

 

Reading Through the Stacks: Every Letter Was a Love Letter

Yesterday was spent trading notes with Sarge to save his hay-fevered voice.  When was the last time you wrote a love note or letter?

Somewhere between note 1 and 17, I finished reading my 20th book of the year.

Recent reads have been:

 The Marriage Plot - Read this in three days.  The first two I was right there with it.  Yesterday, not so much.  I was just happy to read complex sentences again.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) – I read this because I have a not-so-new obsession with talked-about books.  I found myself counting the times Ana mentioned her inner goddess.  And then I lost it.  Perhaps the best thing about reading this was appreciating Ellen’s video.

The History of Love - I lived with this book.

The Shape Of Water - Must read all the others and catch up with the show.  Think I know what our next box-set will be.

Hot Six (Stephanie Plum, #6) – These haven’t become boring yet.  Predictable and comfortable, but not boring.

 The Bees - Read this aloud, to myself.  In my living-room.  In honour of (inter)National (kinda) Poetry Month.  And to drown out the not-so dulcet tones of my upstairs neighbour.  The one who is constantly on the phone.  At that infuriating level that’s loud enough to be annoying, but too muffled to be useful in my writing.  Except to say it’s worse than a slow, tapping leak.

The Freedom Writers Diary - I got this because of my not-so recent obsession books on writing/books that encourage writing/books made into films.  And because I was looking for something else and found this on the way.  And then realised it was a book I’d wanted to read for a long time.  Everybody wins.

Previous books listed here.

What have you been reading?

The History of Love

The History of Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading Through the Stacks: February and March

Four to Score (novel)

Four to Score (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll admit, not a lot of reading has happened in the last two months.  I’ve been busy being engaged, drafting a bunch of my own words and getting older.

I read six books in January.  And seven more whole ones in February and March.

 

These are them:

 

Fante: A Family’s Legacy of Writing, Drinking and Surviving

Four to Score

Post Office

Tortilla Flat

The Snow Child

High Five

The Sense of an Ending

 

And they weren’t even very long.  Must improve.

 

What are you reading?

 

 

Reading Through the Stacks: What’s In Your Fridge?

Last year, I declared 100 Books Or Bust.  After semi-regular updates on my progress, I stopped counting.

In the end, I got to the actually painful number 49.  49, I tell you.  These were them.

This year, I have set the same challenge for myself.  But I’m going to be slightly more systematic in posting my progress of reading through the stacks.   The ones in the bedroom, in my office, sometimes on the shelves and even in the fridge.

I’m going to commit to monthly round-up posts and hope to get a rounder number in December.

Here’s January’s tally:

New Finnish Grammar  - A must for anyone interested in WWII, memory/nostalgia, and the concept of home.
The Paris Wife – Made me want to read Hemingway.  The real one, not my computer.  Though I could stand to read more on here, too.
Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum, #2) – I’m probably going to end up borrowing all of these from a friend.  I needed another long series to get into.
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop – I read this on the way back from Cambridge.  Beautiful and inspiring.
Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum, #3) – And now I need number #4!
Bossypants – On Goodreads, I put this on my I Caved and also my Laughed Out Loud shelves.  Because I did.  Both.  And I quoted bits to Sarge, so now the book is on his side of the bed.  Funny stuff and good advice.  Thank you, Tina Fey.
And I think I’ve added some new bookstores to my to-visit list after reading about the 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World.
What are you reading?
What should I be reading?
And, dare I ask, what’s in your fridge?

The essentials. Books. Coffee. Gin & Lemonade. My fridge is well-stocked.